Saying Goodbye

It’s been a rough season of five losses within my extended circle of friends, two husbands of friends that passed in circumstances that were unexpected, another friend succumbing to cancer after several years of struggling, another one dying peacefully after enjoying a very long and full life and the one buried today was most likely making dinner a week ago, never in her wildest dreams thinking it would be her last day on earth.

As I sat through the funeral today, I couldn’t help but think are we ever ready for the end of our life? Will it be sudden, or will it be the result of an illness, or will we fall asleep when we’re 100 and never wake up?

We think we have forever to go through our to do lists, to make a will, to leave detailed instructions, buried or cremated, open or shut casket, what songs to play, what verses to be recited, what pictures to select, the list is endless and we go to all lengths to avoid the hard conversations with our loved ones hoping things will just work out on their own, because in the end, someone takes control and makes it all happen. And of course, that someone is the person who loves us the most, be it a spouse or a child, or a parent.

Funerals give us an opportunity to say goodbye to friends and loved ones, while we  think about the impact their life had on others, their accomplishments, how they loved and cherished their families. I think funerals also serve another purpose and that is to remind us each of our own mortality.

What changes would we make in our life if we knew that in the near future our life would come to an end? And I guess the bigger question would be, if we know what the changes would or should be, why are we so reluctant to make them now?

Have you heard about “Swedish Death Cleaning”? It’s a term for the cleaning and de- cluttering you do when you think your time is almost up. Getting rid of the stuff in your house that your kids don’t want, think fine china, your books, your antiques, your collection of…fill in the blank… the list is endless….The upside to this practice is that once the cleaning and de-cluttering is done, your life is more organized, which makes the running of your everyday life run more smoothly…..

Which brings us to where this all started, how do we prepare for our last day on earth? We can plan, and organize and clean and de-clutter but I think the most important thing we can do is live life to it’s fullest, enjoy the sunsets, the times with our friends and family and to always make sure our loved ones know just how much they mean to us and how much they are loved.

Because in the end, love is the only thing that really matters…

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye

  1. Patty I’m sorry that you have had to experience the loss of these dear ones . I cannot imagine it. Your post Absolutely went right to my center,Patty. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I will do my best to live every moment- All the Best, Marcia

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  2. So sorry for all your losses.   Unfortunately as we age – I will be 75 this summer! – attending funerals become more often than not.  You have the right idea.  Be prepared.  Leave the place fairly tidy ( Sue would be proud of my closet and kitchen drawers!)  have no regrets, tell the people that you love how much they mean to you.   I have left directions which I hope people will follow.  I couldn’t help but notice that Bruce changed a few things from his Dad’s and Mum’s requests but I think they would have gone along with it if they had discussed it.  I have a few friends who are supposed to check on some particular details and remind him what I want!   Anyway, at the end of the day we are a name on a genealogy list.   Have a good day, my friend.Ann PS   Do you know that the Audubon have camps for kids during the summer.  Remember, we used to go for walks near there.

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